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Rajasthan: Over 4,200 Animals, Mainly Cows, Die of Lumpy Skin Disease

Over 94,000 cattle infected by virus across 16 districts. Barmer, Jodhpur, Jalore worst hit, say officials.
cow lumpy skin.

Representational use only.Image Courtesy: NDTV

Jaipur: The lumpy skin disease among animals has spread at an alarming speed in Rajasthan where more than 4,000 animals, mainly cows, have died due to it and over 90,000 have been infected.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday said the state government is making every effort to prevent the spread of the disease. He also appealed to cattle-breeders to contact the nearest veterinary institution if they see symptoms of the disease in the animals.

Secretary, Animal Husbandry department, P C Kishan said the death toll due to the disease has gone past 4,000 in the state.

"The infection has spread to 16 districts. Barmer, Jodhpur and Jalore are the worst affected and the disease is in the reducing stage in Ganganagar, Hanumangarh and Churu districts," he told PTI.

Kishan is currently on a visit to the affected districts, starting from Barmer.

The disease has been reported in Jodhpur, Barmer, Jaisalmer, Jalore, Pali, Sirohi, Bikaner, Churu, Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Ajmer, Nagaur, Jaipur, Sikar, Jhunjhunu and Udaipur districts.

Of the 4,296 deaths reported till Wednesday evening, the maximum of 840 were recorded in Ganganagar, followed by Barmer (830), Jodhpur (730), Jalore (580) and Bikaner (527).

Of the 94,358 infected animals, more than 74,118 have been treated.

The viral disease is spread by bloodsucking insects, certain species of flies and through contaminated food and water. It causes acute fever, running nose and eyes, salivation, soft blister-like nodules all over the body, a reduction in the milk yield and difficulty in eating.

Officials in the animal husbandry department said the disease originated in Africa and came to India via Pakistan in April.

"Lumpy skin disease spreading in cattle is extremely contagious. The state government is making every effort to prevent it. Take necessary precautions to protect your animals from this," Gehlot said in a tweet.

He also appealed to gaushala (cow-shelter) operators, public representatives and voluntary organisations to cooperate with the government in controlling the disease.

Animal Husbandry Minister Lalchand Kataria held a review meeting with officers on Wednesday and issued necessary directions.

Chief Secretary Usha Sharma said a budget of Rs 8-12 lakh has been sanctioned at the divisional level in Ajmer, Bikaner and Jodhpur and a budget of Rs 2-8 lakh has been approved for the rest of the affected districts for buying emergency essential medicines.

She said 30 additional vehicles have been arranged for the affected districts for the prevention of the disease, treatment of the sick animals and effective monitoring.

The Centre has also deputed special teams to review the situation. A team from the National Agriculture Research Institute and the National Institute of High Security Animal Disease, Bhopal has collected samples from Jodhpur and Nagaur.

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